It’s fairly apparent to us that Robert Funk is cut from a different cloth than the typical golfer, which is to say a bit reserved and conservative. He’s outgoing, boisterous and plenty self-effacing regardless of his score at the end of a round.
Would he agree with that assessment we wondered?
“Oh definitely,” Funk laughed during a recent interview. “I think I’m more happy to be alive than a lot of other people, part of that is my nature, part of that is coming back from the depths of alcoholism 21 years ago, because most people that drank the way I did back then don’t make it.”
Funk played a total of one golf tournament in his high school years, and addiction kept him off the course following graduation. He played in a rock band before eventually dedicating himself to full time golf, entering his first serious tournament as a mid-amateur.
Working under the tutelage of Ed Howard, then at Costa Mesa Country Club, he lowered his handicap from 20 to 12 in six months, then to five after a year, and scratch after another year.
Funk calls the summer of 2006 the high point of his golf career, which saw him take victories in the Southern California Golf Association Mid-Am Championship at his home Bear Creek Golf Club in Murrieta, then following that up with a win at the Trans-Miss at Brook Hollow GC in Dallas.
It was the first time he entered a tournament with David Bartman of Los Angeles. The duo won their first contest, which happened to be the amateurgolf.com Two Man Links Championship at Bandon Dunes and the two have since gone on to win a slew of team contests.
“Once we won at Bandon it was a forgone conclusion (we’d stay partners),” said Funk. “Our personalities are similar, he can put up with me and I can put up with him.”
Funk calls his driving and putting game his biggest strengths and is in the midst of reworking his iron game with instructor Robert Sherwood, saying the results have helped him make “large strides” mentally and physically, so keep an eye on him in the coming season.
--By Peter Conroy, amateurgolf.com